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I’ve been hearing good things about Piccolo in Venice and decided to see what all the fuss was about. The restaurant is between the boardwalk and Speedway a few blocks south of Rose Avenue, you can practically hear the waves crashing nearby. Thankfully there’s valet parking ($7.00) as parking is virtually impossible around there.
As you enter the warm, cozy and romantic room you’ll be greeted by a friendly maître de and seated amongst the sophisticated yet casual crowd. The kitchen is open and one feels at home as the staff is ever attentive. The waiters are Italian and professional, there’s none of that LA “waiter speak,” the service is old school and impeccable.
The first thing you’ll notice as you read the Menu is the complexity of the dishes on offer. This is no ordinary Italian menu, you’ll find dishes such as the piccione arrosto (pan-seared squab, semi-boneless lentils, chard, vino rosso reduction) or the cioccolato di ricotta(truffle-ricotta filled chocolate ravioli: slow fried in extra virgin olive oil; Aperol coulis, vincotto ). Piccolo attempts to show you what’s possible when you combine creativity with fresh ingredients.
I began with the capesante scottate (seared sea scallops, over parmesan-truffle fondue seasonal truffle shavings) witch was delightful. Then came the carbonara di quaglia (truffle-tagliolini, roasted quail carbonara, with quail eggs, parmesan), a fantastic interpretation of the classic pasta Carbonara with fresh truffled pasta in a creamy quail egg and parmesan sauce. Very nice indeed. Then came my only disappointment the whole Dover sole that was on their catch of the day list. Oops! Not fresh. I have no doubt it was an unusual occurrence. I sent it back and our waiter was embarrassed and took it off the bill. I felt like a deflated balloon as until that moment I was convinced that Piccolo might be the best Italian in LA.
I feel a bit strange recommending a restaurant that blew a dish so badly considering that Piccolo is also one of the most expensive restaurants in LA but I feel it’s worth the risk. Everything else was spot on and the staff is fantastic.
I will give them another chance and report back to you